In this exercise, we will give you a well-picked sequence of exercises, that is significantly harder to execute.
This makes the workout suited for intermediate and advanced athletes, who already have developed a certain level of strength and endurance. Therefore, if you are just a beginner, consider checking out our “Beginner Abdominal Workout” and “Ab Strengthening Workout”
Odds are you probably know the differences, but if you are an advanced athlete that doesn’t really fancy reading, you may not know the difference between abs and core.
If that is the case, make sure to also check our article on “Abs vs Core -The Difference”
This workout prioritizes the development of the abdominal musculature and is well suited for advanced athletes, as mentioned in the introduction part.
The exercises require quite a bit of balance and strength, making this a pretty challenging workout overall. The priority is entirely on the Rectus Abdominis, or in other words the “six-pack”, as the movements are mostly crunching ones.
Keep in mind that the sets and repetitions can be adjusted, in case the given ones in the table below are either too easy or too challenging for you.
|Extra decline sit-up||3||15|
|Gorilla chin leg raise||2||12|
|Hanging leg raises||3||15|
Extra Decline Sit-Up
- Sit on the decline bench and tuck your legs underneath the leg pads
- Go down completely and place your arms crossed on your chest
- Crunch all the way up, contracting your abs, without hunching your back excessively
- After holding the contraction briefly, go back down slowly, keeping the tension on your abs
If you have spinal problems, avoid this exercise.
- Lie down flat on the floor
- Pull your legs in and place your feet on top of one another
- Place your hands behind your head
- Simultaneously crunch up, while bringing your knees up
- Hold the contraction briefly and let your legs and torso back down
Do not let your lower back come off of the ground.
Gorilla Chin Leg Raise
- Grab the pull-up bar at shoulder width with an underhand grip
- Bring your legs together and curl them as illustrated
- Pull yourself up, while simultaneously bringing your knees up
- Contract the abs and after a brief hold, return to the initial position
Hanging Leg Raise
- Grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip, at shoulder width
- Hang freely, then bring your knees up slowly, contracting the abdomen
- After holding the contraction briefly, let the legs back down slowly, while keeping the tension on the abs
Warm-Up and Preparation
As we mandatorily mention in each and every of our workouts, a proper warm-up prior to starting the workout is a MUST!
Get your skeletal-muscle system warmed up and prepare to avoid injury and make sure to do a couple minutes of slow-paced cardio to get the blood moving through your body. That way, you will allow optimal nutrient and oxygen supply to the working musculature and ensure more efficient work.
This is another thing that we like to mention, especially in our ab workouts. If you don’t know what iso-tension is, make sure to read the detailed explanation in our article on “Bodybuilding Posing”.
Flexing essentially means contracting the musculature, and it can be well implemented in and out of the gym. Simply, flex your abs and hold the contraction for up to 10 seconds, while also playing around with the surrounding muscle groups.
This will allow you to achieve a good level of mind-muscle connection, which on its terms will result in more optimal muscle contractions during workouts.
Another exercise, which you can do pretty much anywhere, is the stomach vacuums. Stomach vacuums are essentially done by fully exhaling, while contracting your abs, after which, you suck the abdominal wall in and behind the rib cage and hold that for ~10-15 seconds.
Vacuums can be well-combined with the iso-tension principle and you can pretty much transition it into sort of a belly dance.
This exercise will help you develop a better abdominal musculature, but also give you a naturally tucked-in belly and hence, a smaller-looking, tighter waist line.
Besides that, vacuums give a great massage to the internal organs. Read our full article on “The Stomach Vacuum Exercise”
Combining the Workouts
We recommend you to combine this abs workout with your back workout, as we have the gorilla chin exercise, which also targets the back.
On top of that, some of the exercises given help stretch out the back, and that stretch can be utilized after a back workout and help you avoid or minimize fatigue.
To wrap this up, we can say, again, that if you are a beginner, you should look out for our other articles on ab work, as this one will be too hard to start off with, if you have little to none experience.
The sets and repetitions can be tweaked to give yourself more or less of a challenge, depending on how well-developed and strong your abdominal area is.
Making sure to learn and maintain the proper execution of each exercise is a must, as we are looking for optimal contractions. To further boost your ab development, make sure to combine and utilize other training principles like iso-tension.
Last but not least, we always say it, but keep in mind that the biggest factor, which will determine whether or not your abs will show up, is the body fat percentage!